Senate Committee On Privatisation Oversights NAHCo, Assures Ground Handlers Of Assistance
…As NAHCo Prays For Review Of Civil Aviation Act
… Insists On Waivers On Duties,Tax Incentives
The Senate Committee on Privatisation has disclosed that one of its reasons for visiting the Nigeria Aviation Handling Company (NAHCo)Aviance Plc is to know its challenges and assist it in resolving them.
The Chairman of the Committee Senator, Theodore Orji said this while speaking to journalists at the premises of the ground handling giant shortly after carrying out oversight function on the company.
This is just as the Committee has stated that it would present the challenges faced by the ground handling companies to the floor of the Red Chamber.
Senator Orji added that the committee apart from looking at the challenges of the bedevilling the privatised ground handling companies , the committee is also carrying out oversight function on them to know where they are doing well and where they are not.
According to him, “We have come for oversight functions on Nigerian Aviation Handling Company(NAHCo)Aviance Plc. How they are fairing, their constraints and how the committee can intervene to help them.
“My take on the company is that I have seen it and commended the Group Managing Director(GMD) of NAHCO Plc that they are doing well. Within the presentation you see the revenue before and you see the revenue now, you see they are trying. It is not easy especially during this COVID-19 period and their areas of operations is so wide that is our impression.”
Speaking on the prayers of NAHCo Plc in its presentation, the Chairman citing the last page of the company’s presentation said, ”If you look at the last page of their presentation,titled, ‘Our Prayers’ this contains their constraints mostly. It is government that would solve these problems for them not themselves. They will try but majority of the solution is on government.”
He continued, “We will carry this along and do our bid and I am sure that the relevant agencies and government parastatals will know about this. One of the things we have come here to do is to find out their problems so that we can intervene. Everywhere we have gone to this is the objective; find out their problems, find out how we can help, access them whether to know they are doing good or bad
Speaking shortly after the Committee’s departure , the Group Managing Director of NAHCO Plc Mrs,Tokunbo Fagbemi, who received and briefed the Committee said that she is uptimistic the Committee would present the company’s prayers at the Senate and that the discussion with the Senator Orji led Privatisation Committee was a fruitful one.
She posited that one of the handler’s prayers in its presentation is for a review of Civil Aviation Act and that when it is completed,the ground handling companies would benefit as the airlines which they handle are benefiting.
According to her, “One of the things we have asked for is that the Civil Aviation Act, the work started on it be completed as soon as possible because we believe that would open up opportunities in within the civil aviation industry and we support airlines in the same industry so whatever benefits the industry ultimately will trickle down to us.”
“What I am saying is if you have better regulatory frameworks it will benefit the airlines and when it benefits the airlines it benefits us. We depend on the airlines and that is why we want airlines to be stronger,” She added.
She explained that the management also mentioned the issue of giving waivers, 10 per cent interest loans and tax incentives to ground handlers considering the fact that just like airlines in the country they also buy or order their equipment in hard currency; Dollars .
”One of the things we discussed and we want government to look at is, where we can have waivers on duties just like the airlines have it, we can have some tax incentives and tax relief. We are also looking at below 10 per cent interest rate borrowing similar to what the airlines have because we also buy our equipment in foreign exchange.
She lamented that while airlines can sell their aircraft after sometimes or convert them to cargo aircraft ground handlers on the other hand, she argued cannot.